Our Team

Our Team

The team at Retrieving Independence is a dedicated and compassionate group of individuals who love and respect the unique learning capabilities of dogs and humans to assist each other when they come together in extraordinary relationships.

We share a common goal: to improve the lives of others.

  • All
    • All
    • Board of Directors
    • Staff
    • Volunteer Leaders

Hayley Phipps, D.V.M.

Board Chair | Veterinarian

Dr. Hayley Phipps joined the Retrieving Independence board and team in 2015. She is a Nashville native – born and raised! Dr. Phipps is a veterinarian at Belle Meade Animal Hospital and serves as a vet to all the RI dogs.

Dr. Phipps frequently treats the dogs in training, occasionally visits the dogs in prison to update vaccines, plus, she aims to enhance the Retrieving Independence breeding program.

Dr. Hayley Phipps

Anna Hollingsworth

Board Vice Chair | Fundraising Coordinator

Anna Hollingsworth joined the Retrieving Independence Board of Directors in 2017. Anna and her husband became RI furlough volunteers in early 2017 and both found a passion for the organization’s mission early on. Anna also serves as the Retrieving Independence fundraising committee chairman.

Anna Hollingsworth

Ally Oliver

Board Member | Secretary

Ally Oliver joined the Retrieving Independence board this year. She became involved with RI dogs through working with Dr. Phipps at Belle Meade Animal Hospital. She really believes in the organization’s mission and wanted to become involved in the organization. Ally has been working at BMAH since 2014, is involved with Agape Animal Rescue, and has a passion for animals and animal rescue. In her free time, Ally fosters for Agape and enjoys climbing, camping and hiking with her rescue and foster dog mentor, Miller.

Ally Oliver

Vicki Diestelkamp

Board Member | Treasurer

Vicki Diestelkamp joined the board in 2016, having worked with Retrieving Independence’s Puppy program at the Farm at Natchez Trace. With a background in the Hospitality industry, she assists in coordinating the Recipient camp hotel and meeting arrangements.

Vicki Diestelkamp

Dave Adams

Board Member

Dave Adams joined Retrieving Independence in 2011 as a volunteer and serves on the Retrieving Independence Board of Directors. He performs many tasks behind the scenes including helping to raise puppies for the Serving With Canines training program, filling the RI bus with gas in between trips to the Turney Center, fundraising, and supporting the organization whenever he is called upon.

Dave Adams

Mary Belle Grande

Board Member

Mary Belle is a native Nashvillian, proud dog lover and “parent” to Lola. In addition to serving on the Board of Retrieving Independence, Mary Belle volunteers with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Boys and Girls Clubs of Middle TN. Previously Mary Belle served on the Board of the Rosemary Beach Property Owner’s Association and held the office of Secretary. Mary Belle’s experience also includes being appointed by Governor Don Sundquist as Director of Communications for the Tennessee Department of Tourism as well as holding various other communications positions in Washington, DC at the Republican National Committee. Mary Belle earned a…

Mary Belle Grande

Katie Regan

Board Member

Katie Regan joined the Board of Retrieving Independence in 2017. She is a retired Physical Therapist and the mother of a veterinarian. Being a Nashville native, Katie has had the opportunity to volunteer in many church and civic areas in the city and looks forward to sharing her varied skills. She is the proud owner of a golden retriever, Nelle.

Katie Regan

Lesley Adams

Program Director & Training Coordinator

Lesley Adams joined Retrieving Independence in 2011 as a volunteer to continue developing her skills with assistance dogs and supplement her prior experience in training dogs for general obedience work. She was one of the founding Board Members of Retrieving Independence.

As Program & Training Director, Lesley is responsible for the initiation of and continuing refinement of approaches, curricula and evaluations for dogs, and inmate trainers with Retrieving Independence.

Brenda Dew, Ph.D.

Counselor

Brenda Dew, Ph.D. joined the volunteer team of Retrieving Independence in 2012 after retiring as a Professor of Counseling. She is the Counseling Coordinator for Retrieving Independence and is responsible for developing and managing relationship assessments for the inmate trainers, applicants and caregivers. She also heads the Drill Team that showcases our service dogs and their training.

Kelly Banfield

Furlough Coordinator

Kelly Bandfield joined Retrieving Independence in 2015, volunteering as a puppy raiser and furlough family. Kelly worked for 18 years as an Oncology Nurse in California and Minnesota. In her free time, she enjoys baking, bike riding and traveling. Kelly’s household includes her husband and two daughters, and their dachshund Otto, golden retriever Boogle and a black cat Baghee.

Kelly Banfield

Shelly Steel

Intake Coordinator

Shelly Steel joined Retrieving Independence as a furlough volunteer in 2012. In addition to the weekend furloughs, Shelly also was a puppy raiser. She joined the Board in 2015 and in Jan 2016 was voted Board Chair. It has been a life-changing experience. Shelly is a Marriage and Family Therapist and has her own private practice in Nashville.

Shelly Steel